Sunday, 20th March 10.30 am Order of Service

Sunday 20th March 2022 10.30am

Live stream link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUXqSPpmvi0FrIfSLUqiCEA

WELCOME

HYMN SOF 1200 – Christ whose glory fills the skies

Christ, whose glory fills the skies,

Christ, the true, the only light,

Sun of righteousness, arise,

triumph o’er the shades of night;

Dayspring from on high, be near;

Daystar, in my heart appear.

Dark and cheerless is the morn

unaccompanied by thee:

joyless is the day’s return,

till thy mercy’s beams I see,

till they inward light impart,

glad my eyes, and warm my heart.

Visit then this soul of mine;

pierce the gloom of sin and grief;

fill me, radiancy divine;

scatter all my unbelief;

more and more thyself display,

shining to the perfect day.

PRAYER

Children’s Address.

I’m guessing that if asked you if you had any enemies – you would say; “NO”. Why would someone MY AGE have enemies? Ot maybe there is someone who doesn’t seem to like you and maybe even teases you at school in the playground.

Maybe you didn’t know that every one of us has an enemy? We can’t see this enemy but he exists. He is God’s enemy and his name is Satan. Since Satan hates God he attacks what is most special to God. People are God’s most special creation.

God loves you and me very much so Satan way want to hurt us and keep us from knowing God and the love He has for us. Whenever we face a person that is our enemy we need to remember that Satan is our real enemy, not that person. (Ephesians 6:12) Satan uses that person to try to upset us to become angry or scared. He is hoping to cause us to turn our eyes away from God so we won’t look to Him for help. Any time we face an enemy we need to remember that God is with us. We need to keep our eyes on God because He gives us His power to do what is right in our difficult situation.

Song I may never march in the infantry

I may never march in the infantry,

ride with the cavalry, shoot with the artillery;

I may never zoom oer the enemy,

but Im in the Lords army.

Im in the Lords army.

Im in the Lords army.

I may never march in the infantry,

ride with the cavalry, shoot with the artillery;

I may never zoom oer the enemy,

but Im in the Lords army.

READING Isaiah 14:1-23

The Lord will have compassion on Jacob;
once again he will choose Israel
and will settle them in their own land.
Foreigners will join them
and unite with the descendants of Jacob.

2

Nations will take them
and bring them to their own place.
And Israel will take possession of the nations
and make them male and female servants in the Lord’s land.
They will make captives of their captors
and rule over their oppressors.

3 On the day the Lord gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you, 4 you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:

How the oppressor has come to an end!
How his fury has ended!

5

The Lord has broken the rod of the wicked,
the sceptre of the rulers,

6

which in anger struck down peoples
with unceasing blows,
and in fury subdued nations
with relentless aggression.

7

All the lands are at rest and at peace;
they break into singing.

8

Even the junipers and the cedars of Lebanon
gloat over you and say,
“Now that you have been laid low,
no one comes to cut us down.”

9

The realm of the dead below is all astir
to meet you at your coming;
it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you—
all those who were leaders in the world;
it makes them rise from their thrones—
all those who were kings over the nations.

10

They will all respond,
they will say to you,
“You also have become weak, as we are;
you have become like us.”

11

All your pomp has been brought down to the grave,
along with the noise of your harps;
maggots are spread out beneath you
and worms cover you.

12

How you have fallen from heaven,
morning star, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid low the nations!

13

You said in your heart,
“I will ascend to the heavens;
I will raise my throne
above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,
on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.

14

I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;
I will make myself like the Most High.”

15

But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,
to the depths of the pit.

16

Those who see you stare at you,
they ponder your fate:
“Is this the man who shook the earth
and made kingdoms tremble,

17

the man who made the world a wilderness,
who overthrew its cities
and would not let his captives go home?”

18

All the kings of the nations lie in state,
each in his own tomb.

19

But you are cast out of your tomb
like a rejected branch;
you are covered with the slain,
with those pierced by the sword,
those who descend to the stones of the pit.
Like a corpse trampled underfoot,

20

you will not join them in burial,
for you have destroyed your land
and killed your people.

Let the offspring of the wicked
never be mentioned again.

21

Prepare a place to slaughter his children
for the sins of their ancestors;
they are not to rise to inherit the land
and cover the earth with their cities.

22

“I will rise up against them,”
declares the Lord Almighty.
“I will wipe out Babylon’s name and survivors,
her offspring and descendants,”
declares the Lord.

23

“I will turn her into a place for owls
and into swampland;
I will sweep her with the broom of destruction,”
declares the Lord Almighty.

SERMON God – King of all the nations

This is the start of a new section of Isaiah which focuses on the KING IN Zion. The first 12 chapters have dealt mainly with God’s people, but we have seen, even in these early chapters, the beginnings of Isaiah’s world vision. This is how Isaiah writes – the hints of one section of his prophecy become the main feature of the next section. Chapters 13-27 develop the prophet’s world view. We discover that the whole world, not just Judah and Israel, lies in God’s executive hands. We discover in these chapters that the whole of world history is organised in the interests of the people of God. The Gentiles are to be incorporated into God’s plan so that there will one world, one church, one faith one Lord!

The chapter for this morning is the first of ten oracles leading up to chapter 27. This first oracle deals with the politics of Babylon. When we come to the 6th oracle (21:1-10) we will see that it also deals with Babylon – but in that case it will be the religion (the idols) of Babylon.

Chapter 14:1,2 are the centrepiece and the key to this whole section: The LORD will have compassion on Jacob; once again he will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land. Aliens will join them and unite with the house of Jacob. 2 Nations will take them and bring them to their own place. And the house of Israel will possess the nations as menservants and maidservants in the LORD’s land. They will make captives of their captors and rule over their oppressors.

In other words, everything happening in the world is for the sake of Israel. In both the first set of 5 oracles and the second set of 5, you will discover that the other 4 nations mentioned are those lying to the north, south, east and west of Israel.

This speaks to us of two things. Firstly, God’s nation was surrounded by enemies – and although it might have seemed the sensible thing to do, making alliances with them was doomed to failure.

Why do I say that? Simply because Israel was a nation unlike any other. Other nations may well have seen the benefits of political alliances, but Israel was GOD’s nation. She should always have put her trust in HIM. Insofar as she failed to do so – she failed… and suffered for it.

The other things to note about Israel being in the centre of these other nations is that it pointed to the fact that the activities of God’s people were central to world history – and to the outworking of God’s purposes. There is a pre-determined end towards which human history is heading – we are not spinning aimlessly around the sun until the meteorite hits – or the red button is pressed.

In this first section Babylon is both an historical empire AND the very model of arrogant self-sufficiency. The principles of God at work in history are found in 10:5-15 – and I encourage you to read these verses. They tell us that nations rise up – not least against God’s people – and may, in fact, bring real punishment to the saints – BUT what they fail to realise is that even in their seeming victories against God’s people, they are but unwittingly bringing about God’s purposes, as He is going about His work of lovingly chastising and restoring His beloved people to Himself.

But don’t imagine that God is playing chess with the pagan nations – He is simply letting them go about their evil work (is that not the principle of Romans 1? – 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. 28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done)

Babylon is a city of emptiness – 24:10 – and despite of its ultimate political power and influence – God has plans to – and will carry out His plans to destroy it – king and city. Arrogance is what the Lord punishes – then and now and always. Our aim ought to be humble worship of this great God Who is working out His plans – even through the machinations of His enemies!

Christ executes the office of a king in subduing us to himself, in ruling and defending us, and in restraining and conquering all his and our enemies.’ (Shorter Catechism 26)

Hang on in there – Babylon and every Babylon will be judged. We are on God’s side – the victory side.

PRAYER

Hymn SOF 135 – God is working his purpose out

God is working his purpose out

as year succeeds to year:

God is working his purpose out,

and the time is drawing near;

nearer and nearer draws the time,

the time that shall surely be,

when the earth shall be filled

with the glory of God

as the waters cover the sea.

From utmost east to utmost west,

wherever foot hath trod,

by the mouth of many messengers

goes forth the voice of God;

give ear to me, ye continents,

ye isles, give ear to me,

that earth may filled

with the glory of God

as the waters cover the sea.

What can we do to work God’s work,

to prosper and increase

the brotherhood of all mankind–

the reign of the Prince of Peace?

What can we do to hasten the time–

the time that shall surely be,

when the earth shall be filled

with the glory of God

as the waters cover the sea.

March we forth in the strength of God,

with the banner of Christ unfurled,

that the light of the glorious gospel of truth

may shine throughout the world:

fight we the fight with sorrow and sin

to set their captives free,

that earth may filled

with the glory of God

as the waters cover the sea.

All we can do is nothing worth

unless God blessed the deed;

vainly we hope for the harvest-tide

till God gives life to the seed;

yet nearer and nearer draws the time,

the time that shall surely be,

when the earth shall be filled

with the glory of God

as the waters cover the sea.

Benediction

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: